The former Lorimar Productions exec who worked with creator David Jacobs to bring Dallas to TV and later became a Tony-winning Broadway producer has died. Michael Filerman died January 25 at his L.A. home after a yearlong battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Starting in the late 1970s, Filerman worked on Dallas – whose 1980 “Who Shot J.R.?” cliffhanger was the highest-rated episode in TV history at the time – and served as executive producer on such series as Knots Landing, Flamingo Road, Emerald Point N.A.S., Falcon Crest, Sisters and The Client. The Chicago native also produced more than a dozen TV movies, starting with 1980’s Willow B: Women In Prison through 2000’s When Andrew Came Home. Filerman later turned to producing for the Main Stem, earning eight Tony nominations and two wins – for the revivals of The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess (2012) and The Norman Conquests (2009). His other Broadway credits include the musicals A Christmas Story, American Idiot, Nice Work If You Can Get It and the current A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, along with such original plays as Enron, November and Frozen and revivals of The Country Blithe Spirit and Driving Miss Daisy.
During a stint in the Army after college, Filerman’s drill sergeant was his future boss — Fred Silverman, who hired him at WGN Chicago and later at CBS in New York, where Filerman worked in daytime TV. He moved to Los Angeles in the early ’70s while working for CBS and then transitioned to series development at Paramount Television before landing at Lorimar. A memorial service is being planned over the next few weeks.